Inkspill No. 2: Crucified Twice?

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Photo by Miroslav Vajdić for openphoto.net

 

The other night I had a disturbing dream. In it, I was watching a movie trailer, which played out vividly and grotesquely, the plotline narrated by a deafening voice. It went something like, “When the sins of the world became too much . . . [dark music plays] . . . the unthinkable happened. Here in the modern age, the Son of God had to return to Earth . . . [more dark music] . . . and be crucified again.” The trailer flashed through graphic images of a horribly depraved world, through a new, modern saga of Christ’s life, and through the scenes of His death. It finished with the blood-sodden specter of Jesus dangling once more from a towering cross.

There in my sleep, I can hardly describe the rage that gripped me. How can people film something like that? I thought. Who could possibly conceive this travesty?  How dare they belittle my Father’s grace? To believe that the sins of the world could ever grow too large to be covered by Jesus’ blood is to not know the meaning of that blood at all.

When I awoke, relief washed over me. No one had made an insane film about a second crucifixion, and surely to Heaven no one ever would. But the experience made me think. I asked God, “Does all this mean something?” and later on that day, the answer came to me, in the form of a question: Will you let the blood of Jesus be enough for you?

I should explain that at this time I was struggling with newly discovered personal shortcomings. I kept thinking, I should be stronger than this. Why am I not stronger than this? I was at war with my emotions and so disappointed in my sluggish progress. I felt accused, suffering under the same condemnation I had been so determined never to allow into my life again.

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”  Romans 8:1-2 NIV

When God asked me that question, I answered without having to think about it. Yes. Of course I will let Jesus’ blood be enough for me. His grace has always been sufficient, and it always will be. It is clear to me now that we are always supposed to be confident in God’s forgiveness, His love, and His heart of peace toward us before and after we repent (note the future tense used in Romans 4:5-8). If at any point we begin condemning ourselves for our faults (as I had), we are telling Jesus, “The first time wasn’t enough. You need to be crucified again.”

Can we let Jesus be crucified two thousand years ago, and call it good? Can we agree with Him that His blood wiped EVERYTHING away, and that we are clean and lovely and acceptable to Him? Romans Chapter 8 culminates by saying that nothing in all creation will be able to separate us from His love. That includes our own mistakes.

So what’s your answer? Will you let the blood of Jesus be enough for you? Or do you think a second crucifixion is needed to excuse you of all the trouble you’ve caused lately? Because the Bible promises you absolute peace with God (Romans 5:1). You can have a fresh start, no matter how much you’ve already messed up today. (Or yesterday, or the day before, or the day before that, or . . . ) Let go of all that torment and accept the Lord’s forgiveness. Take hold of your peace. He gave His life to pay for it.

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